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THE   LIGHTHOUSE

Ramsay, who would be full of curiosity to know
what had become of the Rayleys, She would feel
a little triumphant, telling Mrs. Ramsay that the
marriage had not been a success.

But the dead, thought Lily, encountering some
obstacle in her design which made her pause and
ponder, stepping back a foot or so, Oh the dead!
she murmured, one pitied them, one brushed
them aside, one had even a little contempt for
them* They are at our mercy. Mrs. Ramsay has
faded and gone, she thought. We can over-ride
her wishes, improve away her limited, old-
fashioned ideas. She recedes further and further
from us. Mockingly she seemed to see her there
at the end of the corridor of years saying, of
all incongruous things, "Marry, marry!" (sitting
very upright early in the morning with the birds
beginning to cheep in the garden outside). And
one would have to say to her. It has all gone against
your wishes. They're happy like that; I'm happy
like this. Life has changed completely. At that
all her being, even her beauty, became for a
moment, dusty and out of date. For a moment
Lily, standing there, with the sun hot on her back,
summing up the Rayleys, triumphed over Mrs.
Ramsay, who would never know how Paul went
to coffee-houses and had a mistress; how he
sat on the ground and Minta handed him his

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